Wednesday, January 06, 2010

SMS Uprising: Mobile Activism in Africa

I am urging everyone who reads this blog to check out the recently published book, SMS Uprising: Mobile Activism in Africa, published by Pambazuka Press in Africa and Europe.

It is a collection of essays on using the cell phone as a tool for political and social activism. The anthology contains an essay written by yours truly on the work of Fahamu, a UK and Kenya-based Pan-African NGO which pioneered the use of cell phone text messaging for an activist campaign to enact legislation for women's rights in 2004 among other high-profile campaigns which attracted international media attention at that time.

From the book description:
SMS Uprising provides a unique insight into how activists and social change advocates are addressing Africa's many challenges from within, and how they are using mobile telephone technologies to facilitate these changes.

This collection of essays by those engaged in using mobile phone technologies for social change provides an analysis of the socio-economic, political and media contexts faced by activists in Africa today. The essays address a broad range of issues including inequalities in access to technology based on gender, rural and urban usage, as well as offering practical examples of how activists are using mobile technology to organise and document their experiences. They provide an overview of the lessons learned in making effective use of mobile phone technologies without any of the romanticism so often associated with the use of new technologies for social change. The examples are shared in a way that makes them easy to replicate -– 'Try this idea in your campaign.' The intention is that the experiences described within the book will lead to greater reflection about the real potential and limitations of mobile technologies.

If you want to learn about innovative uses of cell phone technology, are curious about its applications in activist campaigns, and want to learn more how this technology is being applied in activism in developing countries then this book is for you. Buy the book and tell them you heard about it from this blog!


Brian said...

Congratulations Redante on the publication.

This is definitely one of the biggest issues right now regarding the impact of technology on society...and politics. Especially with what is happening in Countries like Iran.

redante said...

Many thanks AI! The intersection where technology, politics, and citizen activism meet is an exciting one and I am glad that there is a burgeoning international community and audience that deal with these issues. The rapid, global communications possible with the Internet and cell phones along with new media has opened up a very exciting field for exploration, experimentation and applying practical, boots-on-the-ground experience in citizen-centered advocacy.